“I’ve never raced such a tough stage in a Grand Tour,” Froome told Spanish newspaper AS, “so I don’t know what will happen.”
“The weather’s set to change, it’s expected to be a lot colder and will perhaps rain. Coming after the hot weather of the first week, there could be some major time gaps and a lot of abandons.” “It’s going to be the most important stage of this year’s Vuelta.”
Froome’s comments concur with those who believe the combination of the shortness of the stage with six classified climbs, the 5000-plus metres of climbing, the expected poor weather, and all coming after a rest day, will make the Vuelta’s stage 11 a very tough and potentially decisive in this year’s race.
Froome says his rivals range from Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), through to Fabio Aru (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and the Movistar duo of Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.
The Tour de France told AS that his form good, saying “I’m really up for the race and motivated. But I’m not at the same level as in the Tour.”
Froome revealed that Team Sky’s planned helicopter transport from the stage 10 finish in Castellon to Andorra did not work out as planned, as a thunderstorm rendered air transport too dangerous. After flying roughly 120 kilometres the helicopter was forced to land in the airport of Reus, where the bus picked them up for the remainder of the six hour transfer, and they reached their hotel shortly after midnight.
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